This weekend will mark a new milestone for our family. On Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon, my brother will become a husband.
We've anxiously waited for this day to arrive. Although only a year separates the two of us, it sometimes feels as if we were born light years apart. My brother, the ever joking, never serious, daredevil, prankster of a man he is, has finally decided to share his life with someone.
Not just any someone though. Sometime around four years ago at my Christmas Party my brother walked in with Jennifer. It was our first meeting. It's always hard to get a good feel for people during these family functions. As I made my way that night trying my best to talk to everyone, I wondered just how this woman fit into my brother's life. Was she just a friend? A date for the night? Or was she someone very special?
Jen, you may not know about this part. But as the night was winding down and I walked my brother to get your coats, he asked me: "So what do you think?"
My initial thought was "What do I think about what?" I had no idea what he was referring to.
"What do you think of Jennifer?", he asked.
I knew immediately that she was different. "Why?", you ask.
Well in all the years that I've known my brother, he had never once asked what I thought about the woman he was dating. The fact that he cared so much about my opinion, meant more to me than any answer I could have given. By the way, I thought she was perfect for him.
In only a few months Hubby and I will be celebrating 7 years together. I hardly proclaim to be any type of expert on marriage. However, I would like to share some of the highlights that I believe have helped encourage us to enjoy every moment we have together.
1) No matter which way you look at it, marriage is a job. When you treat it like a job you give 100%. When you begin treating it like a chore, you become lazy. Claim to each other that it is the best job you've ever been hired to do. And do it!
2) Hold on to each other during the good times. Hold tighter during the bad.
3) During rough patches, pull out your wedding album. This simple step will remind you why you made this decision in the first place. It will also remind you of all the other people who thought that decision was a good one.
4) Surround yourselves with people who love both of you (not just one).
5) Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, promotions, and family.
6) Surprise one another.
7) Compliment one another.
8) No matter how tired you are, allow at least 20 minutes to discuss your day with one another. There may not be a tomorrow to give you that chance.
9) Say I love you everyday. Hold each other every night.
10) Share the responsibility of raising children.
11) Never call each other by any other name than the one they were born with. Arguments frequently have an ending; memories last forever.
12) Believe in romance and Happily Ever After.
This is obviously the short list. I use some of these tips on a daily basis, and like most people, I screw up. Don't be afraid of mistakes, you'll make them.
I want to say how very happy I am for you both. I wish you many years, and I look forward to this coming Saturday. I'll bring the tissues.